I've been living in limbo this week as we await test results both for myself and Ellie which will help us determine what our next steps will be. After going back and forth about whether to test Ellie for fructose intolerance or small intestine bacteria overgrowth, we decided last week to test for SIBO since it can cause problems with fructose, along with other things Ellie is struggling with (tolerating any fermented foods, for example). And this week I will get news on a stool test and a food intolerance test. I'm not great at waiting, so I've been going a little crazy.
So over the weekend I turned my attention to taking some practical steps to make living with this diet a little easier. I find that I can work myself up every single day trying to figure out what to make for dinner. You would think when the main ingredient options were just meat and vegetables, it would be easy to keep things simple. But somehow that actually causes me to make things more complicated. I think because the ingredients are so simple, I feel compelled to keep our meals very varied so keep boredom at bay. But trying a new recipe every night is not practical, and I realized I needed to create some structure around dinnertime.
Here's the plan I came up with, which includes a template for every night's meal, along with tasks and special projects to keep the week moving smoothly. I tried to plan more complicated meals for days that are normally slow "at home" days and planned quick meals for those days I frequently long for those days when we were able to run out for burritos. I put an "L" after meals I anticipate would create leftovers.
Big hunk of meat (beef or pork roast, roast chicken) w/ roasted vegetables - L
Defrost meat for Monday
Grocery shopping for week
Organize supplements for week (I've started keeping our supplements in those weekly pill boxes, keeping two in the fridge for Ellie and I for probiotics and my Fermented Cod Liver Oil and two on the counter for all our other supplements)
Start yogurt or kefir (My food club recently started buying raw cow's milk so I've been making yogurt for Ian and I and hopefully we will be able to try it with Ellie soon)
Salad with leftover meat from Sunday
Meatballs or meatloaf with vegetables - L
Soup - L
Defrost meat for Sunday
Defrost fish for Friday
Steamed fish and vegetables
Defrost meat for Saturday
Sauteed vegetables with meat or fish
Make Paleo bread, bars, crackers or other snacks for the week
This plan already saved me today. I was panicking at 4 pm about what to make for dinner and feeling like I should create something special. I looked at my plan, and decided to settle for a sautee of ground turkey, onion, broccoli, kale and butternut squash with spices. It wasn't the best meal I've ever served, but my family was fed on time and mama wasn't stressing in the kitchen. Win!
I'd love to hear what other people do to solve the never-ending "what's for dinner?" predicament. Are you a meal planner or do you wait for that 4 pm panic/inspiration to hit you every day?